Jockey Sandesh stole the limelight at Mahalakshmi on Sunday winning five races in a row including the one on Tasawwur in the day`s feature event, the Gr 2 Maharaja Jiwajirao Scindia Trophy, a terms race for three-year-olds and over, the feature event of the day. Sandesh`s persevering effort ensured that Tasawwur who appeared to be in a spot of bother fought back to record a hat-trick.
The quality of each of the two back-to-back wins was so impressive that Tasawwur was expected to maintain his supremacy even though he was graduating into graded race company. The more experienced La Rondine was made the favourite with Bronx who seems to have lost his Pune form was the second favourite ahead of Tasawwur. Sacred Roman set a fast pace with Vulcan in proximity ahead of Bronx, Tasawwur, La Rondine and Raees. Inside the final 300 metres, La Rondine had the speed to snatch the lead but despite being slightly interfered and pushed inside, Tasawwur rallied strongly and regained the initiative to record a comfortable win in the end. In fact, Tasawwur was getting better at the finish while La Rondine weakened after showing a brief flourish. Bronx held of Raees by a whisker to keep the third position.
Adhiraj Jodha trained Ron had the best credentials to win the 1200 metres Ibrahim A Rahimtoola Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 46 and this was reflected in the betting trend. Ron was backed to the exclusion of the rest. Ron took a long while in the stretch to warm up to the task from about the sixth position at the final bend but once he got into his rhythm, he pounced on the front-runners and stormed clear inside the final 100 metres to record an easy and provided jockey Sandesh with the first win of the day. Mikayla`s Pride edged out the long-time leader Quail Hollow to snatch the runner-up berth.
Faisal Abbas trained Exotic Queen was the firm favourite to win the 1000 metres Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy (VI) Bart Trophy, a race for maiden two-year-olds. It was clear from the betting trend that Exotic Queen was the most forward horse among the contestants in the fray. Exotic Queen showed so much speed that in the first furlong itself the favourite had gone so far ahead of the rest that Sandesh was not required to exert himself to get the second straight win of the day. Exotic Queen raced all alone in front and checked in seven lengths clear of Feel Lucky while Treasure Hunt held off Dharasana for the third position.
Sandesh won the third straight race of the day when he drove out the lesser fancied En Sabah Nur with all the resources at his command to pull off a last stride win over stablemate Impala to claim the 1000 metres Kusumben Dhirubhai Shah Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Storm Breaker was the short-priced favourite to win the race but the progeny of Leitir Mor was outpaced in the early part and though he finished with a rush, he could not pull it off in what was a desperately close finish involving four horses. Impala led all the way with En Sabah Nur in the chase. The latter was aggressively ridden to cover the leeway and get the better of the front-runner. Both these horses went past the post locked together. The photo-finish went in favour of En Sabah Nur. Storm Breaker who rallied from behind was third a neck behind Impala but a nose ahead of Rising Brave. Three of the six horses belonged to trainer Narendra Lagad with Wild Fire being the preferred horse in the betting ring ahead of the two who battled out in the end.
The well-prepared Night Hunt from the stables of trainer Vishal Gaikwad provided jockey Sandesh`s fourth straight win of the day. Night Hunt who was backed to the exclusion of the rest in the 1200 metres Ibrahim A Rahimtoola Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 46 was pushed to take over the running from Arabian Storm after travelling the first furlong. Night Hunt met with no challenge from the others as he raced alone in front and checked in by a widening margin of six lengths over Hodson`s Horse and Gandalf. Collegium continued with his wayward behaviour in the gates and lost all the chances by rearing up at the start.
Shazaan Shah trained Lion King had the benefit of a good forward run and stood out among the contestants in the 1400 metres Cardinal Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. The price on Lion King did not come down as there was money on Sir Ramon because Sandesh was astride the horse and his horse got backed by default as the jockey was bidding to make a clean sweep of the card. But it did not come about as Lion King in the hands of jockey Zeeshan led all the way and easily staved off the challenge of Mount Mariah and Cray Cray.
Ron (A Sandesh up) winner of the Ibrahim A Rahimtoola Trophy (Div-II)
Exotic Queen (A Sandesh up) winner of the Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy (Vi Bart) Trophy
En Sabah Nur (A Sandesh up) winner of the Kusumben Dhirubhai Shah Trophy
Night Hunt (A Sandesh up) winner of the Ibrahim A Rahimtoola Trophy (Div-I)
Tasawwur (A Sandesh up) winner of the Maharaja Jiwajirao Scindia Trophy (Gr.2)
Lion King (H Zeeshan up) winner of the Cardinal Plate